Bass River Light
Bass River Quick Facts
Year Station Established: 1855
Is the Light operational? Yes
Year Light First Lit: 1855
Year Automated: 1989
Shape: Conical tower on dwelling
Tower Height: 44 ft.
Original Optic: 4th Order, Fresnel
Present Optic: 300mm
Existing Keepers Quarters? Yes
Year Constructed: 1855
Number of Stories: 2.5
Architectural Style: Gothic Revival
Construction Materials: Wood
Bass River Lighthouse
West Dennis, MA
(7 photos, 197KB total download)
Last Visited: September, 2007
In 1850, the federal government appropriated $4000 to build a lighthouse near the breakwater at the mouth of the Bass River. Although an officer of the Marine Revenue reported that a light was unnecessary, the plans were carried through because the captains of the ships had been putting in 25 cents per month of their own money to buy kerosene for a lantern that was placed on Wrinkle Point in West Dennis. In 1854, construction began on the light and the keepers home.
The light was lit on May 1, 1855, and continued in service until 1880, when the Lighthouse Service decided the Bass River Light was no longer necessary since a new light had been built at Stage Harbor in Chatham. One year later, the government changed its mind and decided to relight the Bass River Light. The light continued to serve seafarers until 1914, when it was decommissioned after the Cape Cod Canal opened.
After being sold at auction, the Lighthouse property was purchased by Harry Noyes of the Noyes Buick Company in Boston. Noyes enlarged the Main House, built several buildings, and landscaped the grounds. After his death in 1933, the property was on the market for five years until Everett Stone - - at the urging of his wife Gladys - - purchased the Lighthouse property. Their son Robert helped by putting in $1000 inherited from his grandparents.
Everett was a developer from Auburn, Massachusetts. He planned to develop the land and sell it. But the papers on the Lighthouse were passed too late in June to begin any construction, so Gladys Stone decided to take in overnight guests to help pay the mortgage. So many of the 1938 guests asked to return, the Stones changed their mind about developing the land and thus began Lighthouse Inn.
After being dark for 75 years, the light was relit as the only privately owned, privately maintained working lighthouse in the country.
Nearest Address: 16 Ocean Park Way, West Dennis, MA
- From Route 6 take exit 8 in Yarmouth
- At the end of the ramp turn south onto Station Ave.
- In 0.3 miles bear right onto Main St.
- At the intersection with Route 28 turn left onto Route 28.
- In 0.9 miles turn right onto School St.
- Take School St for about 0.7 miles then turn right onto Lighthouse Rd.
- Take your 3rd left onto Lighthouse Inn Rd.
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